Joey Barton has been sacked by League 1 club Fleetwood Town.
Barton took over at Highbury in 2018 and led the Cod Army to the play-offs last season, but his first stint as a manager has now come to and end.
Fleetwood are currently 10th in League One but despite their solid start and overall good form under Barton, he was relieved of his duties at Highbury on Monday afternoon.
The decision came about following a reported bust-up between Barton and striker Ched Evans, which led to Barton axing the forward from the squad due to poor discipline. Evans has since been linked with Championship side Preston.
Barton has now released a statement following his dismissal.
"First of all I would like to thank the chairman Andy Pilley for the opportunity to manage Fleetwood Town. I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the club. I have learned so much over the past two and half years. There are some brilliant people at Fleetwood Town and I have enjoyed getting to know every one of them.
"I would also like to thank all of the coaching staff, both the ones I inherited and the ones I brought in. It has been some journey with some highs and lows and I have really enjoyed watching each of them get better every single day.
"I would like to thank the fans and say that I appreciate you sticking with me in my first management role. I am not naive enough to think I always got it right, but my only intention during my tenure was to drive this football club forward. I have nothing but good things to say about the people of Fleetwood and the surrounding community. I was welcomed from day one.
"To the players, thanks to each of you for bringing it every day. Nobody enjoyed playing against Fleetwood Town and ultimately that is down to you. Thanks for being patient with me on my coaching journey. I look forward to watching you as you continue to improve.
"It is tough times for everybody at the moment with all that is going on in the world. I am just a football manager who has lost his job, there are plenty of people who were much better than me at theirs that have lost them over the past 12 months.
"I will use this time out to keep getting better, until the next opportunity comes.
"All the best for 2021."
Ex Millwall & Everton legend Tim Cahill is the current surprise favourite to take over from Barton.
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